tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 22, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EDT
our hearts are broken. they certainly are across the country. we want to get to ed near the suspect's apartment building. ed, we saw that controlled explosion. why did they do that and are the people who live there, are they allowed to go back home yet? the people who were displaced? >> shortly they will be allowing people in the surrounding buildings who had been evacuated over the last 36 hours to begin the process of coming back. the building where james holmes lived is still cordoned off and people will not be allowed to go back in there. a short while ago, the police department said all of the materials that needed to be removed and the explosive and dangerous materials in the apartment of the 24-year-old james holmes have been removed. the heavy presence with all the bomb tech anythings anicians ha at the scene.
what is in that apartment is eerie. the police chief here saying what he said james holmes left behind was a sophisticated trap design to seriously injury if not kill someone and they are not happy about it either. >> make no mistake. this apartment was designed, i say, based on everything i have seen, to kill whoever entered it. okay? who was most likely to enter that location after he planned and executed this horrific crime. it was going to be a police officer, okay? make no mistake what was going on. if you think we are angry, we sure as hell are angry. >> they talked about a trip wire along the front door to the apartment that if anyone had unsuspectingly opened the door and tripped that wire, that would have triggered a large explosion that could have potentially been deadly for whatever was walking into the apartment.
that was terrifying to think for the neighbor who lives below in that apartment and they were saying that some of my colleagues spoke with the person who lives below him and said that some point the night before with all that loud music coming from the apartment, she had gone in there and opened up the door and the door was opened. imagine how much worse this could have been had that happened. those authorities spent almost 36 hours clearing out that apartment and the work has come to an end. >> just think if the suspect had made a sort of mistake when having this stuff deliver and putting it together. large volumes of deliveries we are told by law enforcement over the past couple of months. why? >> and this is one of the thing that is the police chief here in aurora talked about. he shared a little bit of this yesterday. the work that had been done over the last few months, getting the guns. we learned from law enforce 789 official that is the guns were
performed at several area gun stores in the denver area in the last three months. a great deal of ammunition. 6,000 rounds that authorities say he performed as well as explosive material and gear he wore to the theater early friday. all of that was purchase and delivered to him. what that shows is a great deal of deliberative process and planning out this attack and authorities putting that out there. they are trying to anticipate what his defense attorney might be saying and if they go for a defense of insanity or a mental continue, authorities here want to be able to show how well thought out and planned this attack was. >> all right. stand by. i want our viewers to imagine living in that apartment complex where james holmes lived. that booby trapped apartment and not being able to go back home and not knowing when the possibility of an explosion. poppy harlow spoke to people who
lived there and here's her story. >> we don't know when we can go home. they said it could be tonight. could be in another couple of days. >> forced to evacuate following friday's horrific mass movie theater shooting, paul queen is shaken. his children terrified. their apartment building right next to the suspected shooter's. for those who live here forced to leave their home, it has been a day full of angst and questions. >> we're need to render the area safe. the most immediate threat is the trip wire. >> two hours later, progress. >> we have been successful in defeating the first threat which was the trip wire and the first insigneerary sdis. >> also this. >> this was set up to clearly detonate when someone entered that apartment. it was set up to kill that
person. >> kaitlyn fonzie said she lives in the apartment below the suspected shooter. she heard loud techno music coming from his apartment friday and went up stairs to confront him and found the door unlocked and decided not to enter. >> hearing the latest news that it was designed to kill whoever entered the apartment is a lot to swallow right now. >> a little boofr noon, firemen shotted fire in the hole and then this. >> we're have been successful in detonating this second triggering device. we are confident we eliminated all major threats at this point, however there are many hazards that remain in the apartment. >> much unease for the evacuated families. >> what has this been like for you as a mother? >> it has been really horrible. it's terrifying. i'm a mother of four children
and knowing that what happened in the theater to the families and the loved ones. >> he lived next to us. >> come to find out he is next to us. it's hard because what if he would have came out and it happened to start shooting at the kids. >> i didn't know if they were going to be okay and if that place was going to blow up while i was at work. it was really scary. >> for now though that risk while not eliminated, at least in the fbi's words significantly reduced. poppy harlow, cnn, aurora, colorado. >> all right, poppy. we are learning about amazing stories of survival. corbin was in the theater when the gunman opened fire and saw the whole thing happen along with his friend jennifer i spoke to last night. jennifer said last night she was doing okay. how are you holding up? >> a lot better today than when
it happened. i am glad to talk to people who have gone through the same thing. >> we heard over and over about their experience in the theater. i have to ask you as someone who was in there, i didn't ask anybody last night in and yesterday, what is it like being here with the building so close? >> when i look at the building, i get a really blank feeling inside. it's hard to look at it. i try not to think of the event that took place. i am still seeing flash backs of what i first saw. >> you don't even want to look over at it. >> i will look over, but it will give me an uncomfortable feeling. >> jennifer said that the gunman got really close to her and pointed the gun at her and didn't shoot her, but shot behind her. you were next to her. what happened to her. why didn't you get shot? >> when you gunman came into the
auditorium, the first thing he did was threw a canister in the audience which was a toxic gas. when that went off and the gunshots fired, i went to the ground and we stood there and jennifer fell behind me and we stayed there for a good ten seconds before we decided to crawl to the other side. >> when are i asked you why didn't he shoot you, you said that's a good question. >> i don't know. i still don't know. i was close to him. i don't know. >> you never know when your number is up. >> you don't. >> you all right? >> yeah. >> i'm sure your family is glad to have you back. what do you say to the people who are watching this and thinking my gosh, colorado, what's going on. there is columbine and this shooting? what do you say to the world? >> i would say that circumstances can happen at any time and awe e easy you were
saying, you never when your number is up. try to make the most with your family and friends and colleagues and people that you probably had bad past relationships with. you don't want to leave knowing that you said something or didn't say enough. >> take care of yourself and tell jennifer we said hello. up next, he was one of many heroes of the shooting. a i didn't know man pulls two teen girls to safety and comes face-to-face with the shooter in the process. he joins me and this. >> the reason we all went. it just sucks. >> a victim of the shooting speaks from her hospital bed about the best friend she lost. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk.
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usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. >> aj was a student in colorado. he liked lacrosse and had a girlfriend. they went to the movies with a friend. aj's girlfriend and friend survived a borage of bullets, but aj did not. he died in the theater. >> we just talked with a witness whoa survived the horror in the theater.
just behind me here. i am joined by erichunter. you came face-to-face with the gunman. thanks for talking to us. what's your reaction when you heard the gunfire. some people thought it was part of the promotion for the might havy. >> we thought it was firecrackers or something that was nature and a part of the movie going experience they were trying to create. >> did you try head to an exit? >> when that happened, we sat back down and we seen commotion and people staggering out. at that point we heard nine more shots and seen it come through. that's when we knew we had to find a way out and come downstairs. >> his face was cover and you could see his eyes and maybe his mouth. did you see expression and did you look into his eyes? >> when i did get a glimpse, i
seen his eyes and i couldn't see anything else because he had the gas mask on. he looked intense and didn't show much emotion. >> did he come over to the other theater or is it just that one. >> with us. he was going to try to enter the theater after seeing the girls. he couldn't answer. thank god. >> how do you feel being back here? i asked the guest before you being back at the theater and seeing all of these people. >> it's emotional and it's just emotional and you are happy you are alive and sad because you know people died. you know children died and you wish why not me instead of them. you feel bad, you know. >> we have been talking about the suspect in this. many are saying you know what, i don't want to hear about the suspect. i want to hear about the survivors and the victims and families. do you feel that way. are you angry with him and does it upset you to talk about him? >> it doesn't upset me, but i am angry that he did what he did.
we have to talk about him if we talk about how to convict him and not let it happen again. we have to talk about him, but i understand where they are coming from. i don't want to watch the news because i'm affected by it. >> hour did it affect your life? >> i will be more cautious and live my life a little bit better and enjoy myself. >> all right. thank you very much. we appreciate it. good luck to you. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. up next here on cnn, she served a tour in iraq to be shot in a movie theater. i talked with her about the shooting in aurora. if it was like what she had seen in a war zone and about the loss of a good friend. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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shoeing. jessica ghawi moved to aurora to chase her dream. last month she survived a mall shooting in toronto while visiting her boyfriend. she dieed from a gunshot wound to the head. >> a good friend of alex sullivan, christina is another victim. she was with alex at midnight and survived. earlier we talked as she recovered in a hospital bed. here's what she had to say. >> a day or so ago you had a normal, a manager at a restaurant. then this. >> yeah. you can't ever expect it. you are always a person who said that will never happen to me. when it's going on, i didn't know it was going on for the first three minutes. i thought it was movie theater antics when there was midnight movie premiers they put on shows or had people dress up in
costumes and come around and what not. i thought that might be what was going on. it was in the middle of a movie scene where they are fighting. the thing that was thrown, you could count to and this bomb went off. that was like two things in front of me. like two rows. all of a sudden you hear pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. gunfire. that's when it hit me this was happening. i should get to the floor. i went to the floor and i was shot. >> some people are like oh, my god, i have been hit and they started to run and duck. >> everybody said get out of the theater! get out of the theater! certain people are trampling over others who had fallen down. if they were hit or not, i don't know. the next thing you know people are saying oh, my god, help me! there was blood everywhere. you could see it. you turn your head and look
around and there was blood everywhere. it clicks once you see that much blood. people not moving and then my friend that was sitting next to me, he was facedown next to me with blood coming out of his head. i didn't get an update until this morning about what happened. if he made it or not. >> your friend alex. >> alex sullivan. yeah. >> what did you learn this morning? >> that he died. >> hard to fathom. >> he's the reason we all went. just sucks, you know. i don't want to say nobody deserves something like this. >> you were in a war zone in baghdad. why is this worse than being in a war zone? >> they just weren't -- nobody saw this coming.
nobody that was there saw it coming. nobody was prepared for it. if you are going-over to a war zone, you know the potential of being shot ought and mortars will come over the wall and somebody will throw a grenade at you. sitting in a movie theater watching a move we your friends. who expects to be shot in a movie theater. none of us did. >> can you forgive him? the gunman? >> can i forgive him? probably not today or tomorrow, but eventually. i'm a pretty laid back and kind of outgoing person. i like to move on and don't like to keep dwelling on the past. eventually, yeah. just not right now. he killed somebody i cared about and injured a heck of a lot of my friends. for right now, no. down the road, yeah. >> my thanks to christina.
here's a look at the colorado shooting story and how it was told around the world. on the left, the front page from puerto rico. translated the headline reads night of terror in colorado. on the right, the front page of the telegraph from india. the headline is vampire. the investigation into the alleged shooter james holmes explaining actions by looking into his past. [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's four course seafood feast, just $14.99. start with soup, salad and cheddar bay biscuits then choose one of 7 entrees plus dessert! four perfect courses, just $14.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. four perfect courses, just $14.99. see life in the best light. outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light.
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matt mcquinn's family agonized for hours before they found out he was killed in the shooting. he was at the movie with his girlfriend and her brother. he died while trying to shield his girlfriend from the borage of bullets from suspected gunman james holmes. to make matters worse, the hospital wouldn't confirm his condition to her because she was not related.
>> we want to get new video just in to cnn, we heard that all of the explosive material had been removed from the suspect's apartment. this is an undisclosed location thaw are looking at outside of aurora. police are disposing of the material found in the apartment. they are blowing some of it up. the one device was nepalm and a mixture that caused an explosive reaction if it mixes with other substances. all of that material they removed from the apartment is being disposed of at this hour and new pictures are just in to cnn. we will continue on this story and follow-up if we get more pictures on this. drew griffin is here and has been looking into the background of this theater shooting suspect, james holmes. he has been described as clean cut, responsible, smart.
hardly kbhn known him well. when you are looking into this and when you hear about the explosive materials, this doesn't surprise you considering what you found out about this man. >> it only deepens the mystery. late this afternoon the universal official where he was withdrawing thursday guy gave no reason whatsoever as to why he was leaving the school and withdrawing. not in writing and not verbally to anyone. we know from a police dispat dispatcher, they did a search of all the records on everything they have on that campus and james holmes's name did not come up at all. earlier today we were at the building where he studied and worked in the lab. we do know that the police did a dog sweep of those buildings today. the campuses were close and it looked more precautionary than anything, but we contacted one student who said i was beside him in one of the labs last
summer. he said "i couldn't say i was close to him. i couldn't say anyone was close to him." we are not finding anyone in this town or anywhere elsewhere james holmes lived that gives any indication as to why this happened. he had been living not far from this movie theater for the past year because it was also close to the university of colorado medical school where holmes was a graduate student in neurosciences. according to the school he was in the process of withdrawing last month. he won't tell us about the grades or classes he took or anything else. he did give a student lecture on something called microrna biomarkers. if you look it up, it's about an emerging study of nerves and cancer research. holmes worked in a paid position there as well, but no details. before that, it was a little
upper class up bringing in california. high school in an diego and under grad degree from the university of california in riverside in 2010. cool administrators there said he had an outstanding academic record. how is this honors student and ph.d. candidate and neuroscientist becoming a different person? dressed and according to police armed to kill. >> the suspect was dressed all in black and wearing a ballistic helmet and a tactical ballistic vest and ballistic leggings and a throat protector and a groin protector and a gas mask. and black tactical gloves. >> was the person delusional and was there mental illness involved? as we try to piece it together, i top the share what the police commissioner ray kelly released on what he learned of the suspect that may have been tied to the actual movie. >> we have information and most of it is public and clearly looks like a deranged
individual. he had his hair painted red. he said he was the joker. >> we are finding no evidence from friends or teacher oers university officials that said what would tlod that behavior. the fact that they were able to take that apartment, there might be clues or from his family. this guy was a ghost in this town. >> this investigation is far from over. we told you about the material that has been removed from the permanent and over our shoulder where it happened, investigators are on the scene now. we saw them circling around the building and bringing things out. as you said, the mystery deepens and the investigation continues. thank you, drew griffin. ahead this hour, a look at james holmes's prior to the move from colorado. more about his family and up bringing and time as a camp counsellor for underprivileged children. that's ahead. and this. here's a scene in washington.
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. alex sullivan worked at the century 16 treater and planned to ring in his birthday with a special screening of dark night rises. he is described as a gentle giant who was wity and smart with a big loving heart. he and his wife were expected to celebrate their first wedding anniversary on sunday. >> the horror of that night is almost unimaginable. the thrill of being first to see one of the biggest movies of the year. as anderson cooper explains, the excitement turned into confusion and a fight to survive. >> it's 12:30 a.m.
a gunman dressed head to toe in gear and a gas mask throws tear gas into the room through the exit door which he propped open earlier after purchasing a ticket and smeeking out. the canister causes confusion with theater goers who don't realize the danger they are in. >> i thought it was like fireworkses or firecrackers. then some smoke started rising in the lower right corner of the theater. >> the gunman entered the theater and fires at the ceiling and turns his gun on the crowd. >> when are he went through the air he came down with his gun in my face. that incident i didn't know what to do. i was terrified. >> the terror spreads and he is calmly firing into the crowd. >> i gunman and i grabbed her and go down on the ground and hiding below the chairs and the guys are standing by the exit
firing away. she not aiming at a specific person. he is aiming everywhere, trying to hit as many people as he can. all i remember is i was down on the ground covering myself and right when i was going up trying to see the guy, just the tear gas was getting me and my eyes were watering and i was like crying and my throat felt weird and felt like i was bleeding. i was ducking down and told my sister to go forward and there were guys and girls running on top of me and jumping away from the seats. the guy was firing and probably for like a minute or two. >> the gunman does not discriminate. children are shot. this mother is wounded in the leg as she tries to escape with her 4-month-old son and 4-year-old daughter. >> i grabbed the baby and grabbed my daughter and got her out as fast as i could and ran out. i didn't turn around or look behind me. i got out and there was a moment
where my daughter trip and i pulled her up and i was dragging her and i said we have to got to get out. i have got to get out the doors. if i fall dead, just get my kids out. it wasso horrible. >> at 12:39 a.m., the first calls come into 911. >> 315 and 314. first shooting at century theaters. someone is shooting in the auditorium. >> police arrived to soon learn that 71 people were wounded. the cell phone video showed panic and bloody victims streaming out of the theater. >> someone got shot. >> inside ten people are dead. >> we need rescue inside the auditorium. multitelevictims. >> seven is down. >> i have a child victim i need rescue at the backdoor to theater nine now. >> that was anderson cooper. the death toll is at 12.
26 people are still in the hospital. if you want to learn more about the victims of the colorado shooting, pay tribute or post messages to the loved ones, logon to our website. those victims are sharing stories now and in some cases they are tales of incredible sacrifice. >> it was pain and agony. i said please help. of course i have many other friends as well. >> caught in the crossfire, this vet didn't panic. his kwing o quick thinking may have saved the live of his two friends. organic artichokes, organic lettuce, organic kale... saved the live of his two friends. rbon footprint? that's great. melons!!! oh yeah!! well that was uncalled for. uhh...mr. gallagher. incoming!!!
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27-year-old serviceman was in his first posting. in a phone call with cnn, his father said they are struggling with the news he was shot and killed in the movie theater. they say their thoughts and prayers are with the families of the other victims. many who survived the rampage in the theater feel lucky for dodging death. some can thank more than fate. we have the story of man who didn't think twice before trying to save his friends. >> my mind was clear of what's going on. the guy is here with a gun. he is shooting at people. stay down. that's the best chance we have. >> the second thought for josh nolan, protect his friends. the 31-year-old navy veteran deployed to iraq twice and threw himself on top of his friends and newlyweds brandon and denise. bullets ripped through his calf and lodged in his arm, breaking the bone. >> i see this hole in my leg and
arm. brandon was like stay down. >> he flattened himself on the floor and hearing the gunman walk and wait. he must survive for his two sons. 9-year-old eric and 7-year-old ryan. the gun jammed. >> for that gun had not jammed do you think you would be here? >> i know i wouldn't. if that gun did not jam, i am certain i would not be here. >> how are you feeling today? >> scared. i'm glad it's over with. yes, i am glad i'm alive and i get to see my kids. but i also think about the other people that didn't -- that are not as lucky as i was. there were kids, managers and fathers that were there and they are dead. i'm still alive.
>> amid the horror of what happened in theater number nine, we hear an extraordinary story repeated among the survivors. the number of people who threw themselves on top of friends and family members to shield them from the flying bullets. >> brandon and denise are two of the best people you would ever meet. >> is that why you jumped on top of them when the bullets started fly something. >> i go. because they have ever right to live and be happy. they just got married. >> it's no longer a friendship. it's not even family. it's something deeper. >> because this is something that will never leave. >> no. >> his friends won't leave his side now, helping nolan through a second surgery and physical
therapy. as soon as he can, nolan has only one thing he said he must do for his emotional recovery. >> i want to go back to that theater, that auditorium and look down that seat and say i beat you. you did not take this life. >> boy oh, boy. we are here in aurora and did he have an idea when he would get out of the hospital. >> he was very moving. hoe has to have surgery on monday and then physical therapy afterwards. >> what are about military training. does he think it helped him? >> he said he is allergic to bullets and that's why he went into the navy, but that sense of service and being there for other people that really did come into play. >> he doesn't want people to feel sor or sad or anything. >> here wants people to remember what happened here is terrible. >> for him. sad for him.
>> what he wants is for people to understand there positive things that happened. people came together and fought and this community will keep fighting to get ahead. >> we wish him well. great reporting. we appreciate that. >> we will give you another look at how the shooting here in colorado is being seen here. the irish daily mail with the headline i'm the joker, he shouted. ♪ ♪ pop goes the world ♪ it goes something like this ♪ everybody here is a friend of mine ♪ ♪ everybody, tell me, have you heard? ♪ [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean with new tide pods... a powerful three-in-one detergent that cleans, brightens, and fights stains. just one removes more stains than the 6 next leading pacs combined. pop in. stand out.
23-year-old micheala medic was one of the victims killed. a very spiritual person, she is described as an independent woman who was great fun. one of the mysteries surrounding the movie massacre centers on the alleged shooter himself. was there anything in his past that might have foreshadowed the crime he is accused of committing? can simon went to his hometown to find out. >> the face seemed familiar. then he remembered. david casper owns a san diego pawn shop and recalls holmes looking at guns a few months ago. >> to find out that he used firearms in the commission of his crime and he was in here looking at firearms is kind of a little bit unsettling. >> a few miles away in the middle class neighborhood where holmes grew up, a 54 trade is emerging. not of someone who is violent or had an interest in weapons, but
a quiet intellectually astute young man. >> he had the intellectual capacity to be successful. >> out of the 2100 students at the university of california riverside, holmes was among the brightest according to the chancellor. admitted on an academic scholarship, he graduated in 2010 with a degree in neurosense considered one of the most challenging clie ining curricul. >> it leads to careers in medicine and science and research and a whole host of allied health areas. >> holmes appeared to come from a stable family. his father here understandably distress side a manager in a software company. his mother a nurse. >> very, very sad day. they are working with the authorities and that's all we say. >> julie adams gathered near the family house and her son played
on the soccer team with holmes. >> it's a neighborhood people move to because the school district is one of the tops in the nation. that's why people move to this community. >> we're haven't discover anything in his up bringing that points to a troubled individual. he spent a summer here working as a camp counsellor to under bridged privileged children. he was responsible for approximately ten kids and there were no incidents and nothing happened out of the ordinary during his time here. few answers for those looking to understand how this academically gifted young man could be a violent killer. >> dan simon reporting. the people in aurora are from shock and sadness, but they have excruciating days to come.
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♪ our fireworks. ♪ and our slip and slide. you have your idea of summer fun, and we have ours. now during the summer event get an exceptionally engineered mercedes-benz for an exceptional price. but hurry, this offer ends july 31st. . the death of 12 people on the minds of all americans tonight. here in aurora, vigils like this that you are seeing are being held across the city. residents searching for an answer as to why this had to happen here. mourning in much the same way the area did 13 years ago at the columbine tbine tragedy. this is an area that understands
more than most. they have a remarkable ability to support one another in times of crisis. this is one of those times and the world is watching and praying and thinking about the folks here in aurora, colorado. i top the tell you something i have here just in. the white house is announcing moments ago that president barack obama will come to aurora, colorado tomorrow, sunday, to honor the vehicles of the shooting. the president will be here. i want to take a moment to look at what the people of aurora will face in the coming days. the sad and socked people will take their to their churches and houses of worship tomorrow and the most agonizing funerals and burials of 12 people kill in the movie theater. one is say 6-year-old girl. then the people who live here. in this apartment building. the former home of james holmes
where police found a pile of explosives rigged to explode. what a frightening thing to learn that the apartment next door, the place where you live contained a bomb and arsenal. one final note to tell you about, james holmes is set to face a judge on monday. cnn of course will cover that. that's when the wheels of justice will start to turn for him and finally we might find out when he faces a judge. when he goes to that hearing exactly what happened. maybe he will say something. we don't know. in the meantime as i have been saying throughout this broadcast and our coverage here, the world is watching and people are praying. our thoughts and prayers are with the folks here. we are not going to leave here until we deem it's necessary. we will continue to cover this important story. the largest mass shooting in u.s. history. it may be a black eye for the community, they may feel that at this moment, but not really.
we love you guys here and we are praying for you and will be here until we decide that this story no longer warrants it. we will see you an hour from now at >> tonight inside the supreme court, a rare and exclusive tonight on cnn presents. soldier guinea pigs. >> they were never supposed to know about this. it was top secret. guess who we found sleeping outside of this house?